Current Affairs- 14th July

Science and Technology

NTPC to set up India's largest solar power plant at Rann of Kutch

NTPC to set up India's largest solar power plant at Rann of Kutch
  • State-run power producer NTPC said on Tuesday that its newly formed subsidiary, NTPC Renewable Energy, has received approval from the Union ministry of new and renewable energy to set up a 4,750 mega-watt (MW) renewable energy park in the Rann of Kutch in Khavada, Gujarat.
  • This will be the largest solar park in the country, and the company plans to generate green hydrogen on a commercial scale from the electricity generated by the solar panels to be installed there.
  • Recently, NTPC has also commissioned India’s largest Floating Solar of 10 Mega Watt on the reservoir of Simhadri Thermal Power Plant, Andhra Pradesh.

Singapore unveils one of world's biggest floating solar farms

Singapore unveils one of world's biggest floating solar farms
  • Singapore today unveiled one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms, which can produce enough electricity to power the island’s five water treatment plants. The project is part of efforts by the country to meet a goal of quadrupling its solar energy production by 2025 to help tackle climate change. Located on a reservoir in western Singapore, the 60 megawatt-peak solar photovoltaic farm has been built by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries.
  • The electricity generated from the one lakh 22 thousand solar panels on the 45-hectare site should make Singapore one of the few countries in the world to have a water treatment system fully powered by sustainable energy.

National

IFSCA established as unified regulator to regulate financial products, services & institutions

IFSCA established as unified regulator to regulate financial products, services & institutions
  • International Financial Services Centres Authority, IFSCA has been established as a unified regulator to develop and regulate financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centres in India.
  • Finance Ministry said that Global estimates suggest that there are one billion people aged 60 years and above with a combined spending power of 15 trillion dollar and the size is ever expanding.
  • The Ministry said, development in medicinal science and technology will support extending of lifespan and longevity of this generation. It is estimated that by 2040, there will be more members of this generation than people under 20 years.

Gallantry Awards Portal and NCC to maintain and honour the statues of war heroes of India

Gallantry Awards Portal and NCC to maintain and honour the statues of war heroes of India
  • To mark the 75th year of Independence, Gallantry Awards Portal and National Cadet Corps have jointly initiated a unique scheme to celebrate and pay tribute to the gallants of the Armed Forces and others who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation.
  • Under the initiative, statues of the brave hearts are adopted for cleaning and upkeep and cadets spread awareness among the people about the contribution and leadership traits of the War Heroes and other national personalities through interactive lectures, poetry recital and nukkad natak.
  • Defence Ministry said, as on date, NCC has adopted 46 statues of Gallantry Award winners. To enable greater reach of this noble activity of NCC, Gallantry Awards Portal has decided to live webcast these events, every week.

Ladakh signed MoU with Sikkim to turn the UT organic by 2025

Ladakh signed MoU with Sikkim to turn the UT organic by 2025
  • Ladakh administration has signed an MoU with Sikkim State Organic Certification Agency (SOCCA) to turn the Union Territory into an organic entity. A tripartite MoU has been signed between Ladakh and SSOCA regarding the implementation of Prampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Mission Organic Development Initiative (MODI) in the Ladakh region with the aim to convert Ladakh into organic entity by 2025. The main objective of this MoU is to get the organic certification after a tie-up with the Centre.
  • Ladakh Agriculture Secretary Ravinder Kumar said that the aim is to make Ladakh a certified organic UT by 2025 which will be completed in three phases.

International

EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

EU unveils sweeping climate change plan
  • The European Union has announced a raft of climate change legislation aimed at pushing it towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • A dozen draft proposals, which still need to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states and the EU Parliament, were announced on today. They include plans to tax jet fuel and effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within 20 years. The proposals, however, are likely to face months of negotiations.
  • The plans triggered serious infighting at the European Commission, the bloc’s administrative arm, as the final tweaks were being made, sources informed the AFP news agency.

Cabinet approves pact with Russia on cooperation for coking coal

Cabinet approves pact with Russia on cooperation for coking coal
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Steel of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation on cooperation regarding coking Coal, which is used for Steel making.
  • The MoU shall benefit the entire steel sector by reducing their input cost. This may lead to reduction in cost of steel in the country and promote equity and inclusiveness.
  • The MoU will provide an institutional mechanism for co-operation in the coking coal sector between India and Russia.
  • The objectives of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation between Govt. of India and Govt of Russia in the steel sector. The activities involved in the cooperation are aimed at diversifying source of coking coal.

UAE becomes 1st gulf state to open embassy in Israel

UAE becomes 1st gulf state to open embassy in Israel
  • The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf state to open an embassy in Israel. UAE’s envoy hailed the trade and investment opportunities that closer ties would bring at a flag-raising ceremony, which was also attended by Israel’s president. The opening of the UAE embassy, which is situated in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, followed the inauguration of Israel’s embassy in the UAE last month.
  • UAE ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja said that since the normalisation of ties, we have seen for the first time discussions on trade and investment opportunities. He added that major agreements across various fields, including economy, air travel, technology and culture have been signed. Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the opening of the embassy “an important milestone in our journey towards the future, peace prosperity and security” for the Middle East.

Sports

Number of oath-takers increased from three to six in Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Number of oath-takers increased from three to six in Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony
  • The International Olympic Committee has reorganized the Olympic Oath at Tokyo 2020 and also increased the number of oath-takers from three to six – two athletes, two coaches and two judges.
  • The IOC said that the changes were in line with its and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s “drive towards gender equality as it enables full gender balance amongst those taking the oath on behalf of all Games participants”.
  • The new wording of the Olympic oath depending on which group is speaking is: “In the name of the athletes”, “In the name of all judges” or “In the name of all the coaches and officials”.

Book and Author

The Great Big Lion by Child Prodigy Knight

The Great Big Lion by Child Prodigy Knight
  • Most three-years-old may find it difficult to even form a sentence, but not child prodigy Chryseis Knight who holds the rare distinction of being one of the youngest authors in the world.
  • “The Great Big Lion”, drawn and written by child prodigy Knight, is a story about lion and two children. It talks about friendship, inclusivity, wildlife conservation and the world of imagination.
  • Earlier published independently abroad, the book was released on Monday for the first time in India under Penguin Random House India’s “Puffin” imprint.

Other Important Affairs

  • The Voice of America (VOA) Bangla service will stop its FM and Shortwave radio transmissions after 63 years of continuous service on July 17.
  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal will be the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha. He will replace Thaawarchand Gehlot, who is now the Governor of Karnataka.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and dedicate to the nation several key projects of the Railways in Gujarat on Friday via video conferencing.
  • Cabinet approves increase in Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief. As per an official release, the increased DA and DR, which will come into effect from July 1, will be 28 per cent representing an increase of 11 per cent over the existing rate of 17 per cent of the Basic Pay/Pension.
  • Industrialist N.S. Srinivasa Murthy based in Bengaluru has been appointed as Honorary Consul General of Vietnam for Karnataka. He is the first honorary consul general of Vietnam from India.